DATE: This squat and bulbous jar could represent one of the earliest examples of the post-Reuben Drake and Collin Rhodes partnership (see MESDA Acc. No. 3308) of 1836 and the pre-1840 Robert Mathis and Collin Rhodes Phoenix Factory (see MESDA Acc. No. 1054.3)
MAKER: Thomas Mitchell Chandler, Jr. was born in Virginia in 1810. His family moved to Baltimore in 1817 and there his career developed as an extraordinary potter. He left Baltimore in 1829 and between 1829 and 1832 may have traveled as an itinerant potter. In 1832 he was in Albany, New York where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. The army brought Chandler south to Augusta, Georgia and between 1832 and 1836 he served in various capacities and likely worked with several potters in Georgia. Scholar Philip Wingard estimates that Chandler was in Edgefield working by 1836 based on decorative slip work on several dated pieces from 1836. He worked in various pottery factories and with various partners until he had his own shop in 1850. In 1852 though, he and his family left for North Carolina where he died in 1854.
Wingard, Philip. “From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler’s Influence on 19th-Century Stoneware.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2013) 38-76.